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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ILLUSTRATIONS

CHAPTER I:
A JOURNEY OF SENTIMENT


CHAPTER II:
THE FATAL ERROR


CHAPTER III:
DUTY FIRST


CHAPTER IV:
A MAN'S GAME


CHAPTER V:
A PERMANENT MEMORIAL


CHAPTER VI:
WILL THE ICE TURN US BACK?


CHAPTER VII:
STORMY VOYAGE


CHAPTER VIII:
RETURN TO NORTHWEST RIVER


CHAPTER IX:
A CHIEF VOYAGEUR


CHAPTER X:
THE BEAVER IS A BAD RIVER


CHAPTER XI:
SOUNDING THE BIG LAKE


CHAPTER XII:
BREAD WITHOUT BAKING POWDER MAKES ME SICK


CHAPTER XIII:
I NEVER TRAVELS ON SUNDAY


CHAPTER XIV:
VIRGIN AS GOD MADE IT


CHAPTER XV:
FIRST PORTAGE


CHAPTER XVI:
TRAIL COMPANIONS


CHAPTER XVII:
MURDOCK'S RAPID


CHAPTER XVIII:
TRACKING THROUGH BOULDERS


CHAPTER XIX:
MARCH TO YOUR FRONT LIKE A SOLDIER


CHAPTER XX:
IT'S ALWAYS BAD LUCK TO TRAVEL ON SUNDAY


CHAPTER XXI:
WORST COUNTRY FOR GAME I EVER SAW


CHAPTER XXII:
BACK TO GET THE BAKING POWDER


CHAPTER XXIII:
DISASTER IN THE RAPIDS


CHAPTER XXIV:
TAKING STOCK


CHAPTER XXV:
GRAPPLING


CHAPTER XXVI:
INDIANS HAVE PLENTY OF HARD TIMES


CHAPTER XXVII:
THIS RIVER IS LIKE A BAD WOMAN


CHAPTER XXVIII:
NO RELIEF FROM WADING


CHAPTER XXIX:
HELL AND TWENTY


CHAPTER XXX:
BACKPACKING TO THE SUSAN


CHAPTER XXXI:
VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH


CHAPTER XXXII:
THE MIND WORKS CURIOUSLY


CHAPTER XXXIII:
RELIVING THE PARTING


CHAPTER XXXIV:
MARKING HUBBARD'S BOULDER


CHAPTER XXXV:
A NEW DISASTER


CHAPTER XXXVI:
THE HARDEST BIT OF TRAVELING I EVER DONE


CHAPTER XXXVII:
SOMETHING WORTHWHILE UP THERE IN THE HILLS


NOTES

PHOTO GALLERY

COLOUR SLIDE GALLERY

ADDENDUM TO
THIRD EDITION

COMMENTS ON THE
NAMING COMPULSION


BACK TO THE LABRADOR WILDS

 XX

IT'S ALWAYS BAD LUCK TO TRAVEL ON SUNDAY

“Look there!   Something has happened,” said I.

“Yes, something has happened!” said Gilbert.

Fortunately the current here was not too strong to make a crossing.  We unloaded our canoe as quickly as possible, and Gilbert paddled across to the young voyageurs on the opposite shore, while the Judge and I anxiously awaited their return.

When they came presently Gilbert’s face was grave, and the two boys were shaking with emotion as they stepped ashore.

 “All is lost! All is l-o-s-t!” exclaimed Henry.

“Yes, all is lost!  Ev-rything!” echoed Murdock.

“You’ve saved your lives,” said I, laughing at the doleful expression the two boys wore, “so cheer up. We can stand the rest.  But what’s happened?”

“E-v-ery-thing is gone!” declared Henry, his voice wavering and his face reflecting the strong excitement under which he labored, as a result of their trying adventure.  “The grub, the cooking outfit, the tent, the ax, our sleeping bags, and my shotgun—all are lost!”

“How about the canoe?” I asked.

“She’s smashed!  Ruined!” exclaimed Henry.

“Yessir,” broke in Murdock, “She’s busted.   I’m thinking she’s not so far gone we can’t mend her though.  Jack Robinson has got everything else.”

“Jack Robinson” is the Labrador woodsman’s synonym for the seaman’s “Davy Jones’ locker.  Anything discarded or lost in the wilderness is said to have gone to Jack Robinson.

“I’m much relieved,” said the judge, laughing so heartily that the somber faces of the boys lighted somewhat.  “I really feared there had been some great calamity—or perhaps that you had seen a ghost, or something—and I was startled at first.  Let’s go up to the tent and talk it over.  There’s a way out of every fix.”

We filed up to the tent, where, free from the annoyance of flies, which were very troublesome outside, we seated ourselves in circle to hold council.

“Now”, I asked, “What caused the trouble?  Tell us about it.”

“It was traveling on Sunday, sir” said one of the boys with profound solemnity.  “I knew something would happen.  It’s always bad luck to travel Sunday.”

“And we left the post on Friday,” said another.

“Yes,” I agreed, “and I left home on Friday to catch the steamer from New York the next day; the Judge and I sailed from St. John’s on Friday; we reached Indian Harbor and went ashore on Friday; and we left the post on Friday.  We’ve had a string of Fridays this trip, but I don’t think we can ascribe our hard luck to them any more than going out on Sunday.  Charles Dickens used to declare Friday was his luckiest day.  It’s my lucky day too.  So is Sunday and most other days, except now and again when things go wrong, and that is likely to happen any day in the week.  To-day is Wednesday, and if the canoe is out of commission we shall have to put Wednesday on our list of very unlucky days.  But how did it happen?  Did you run afoul of rocks?”

“Yes sir, said Murdock, “in a bad place just below here.”

“What about the canoe?”  What shape is she in?”

“Some of the ribs and planks are smashed, whatever, and I don’t know whether she’s any more good or not.  We got her out, though.”

“I’ve seen some bad water,” declared Gilbert, “but I never saw a river like this.  ‘Tisn’t because there’s so much water, but it’s the way it comes.  They calls the Gull Island rapids in the Grand River bad, but most any of the rapids we’ve been through here is a good deal worse than she.”

“The Grand’s an easy river,” agreed Henry  “Last year I took my winter outfit up to my trappin’ grounds in thirteen days from the post, and that isn’t much short of the falls.  The Gull Island rapid ain’t bad beside of these.  I tracks through the rapid without minding it.  But these!” and Henry shook his head solemnly.

“Well, Gilbert,” I suggested, “suppose you go down with the boys and look the canoe over, and if you fellows think she can be repaired, fetch her back and let’s see what can be done with her.  We won’t move camp to-day.” 

“I don’t know,” said Gilbert, “about going up this river.  The Indians said we couldn’t make it, and I’m thinking now we can’t.”

“It looks worse above than it does here,” agreed Murdock.  “We can’t keep going against this sort of river long.”

“I don’t mind traveling a river when I can track and there’s some end to the rapids,” continued Gilbert. “On the Grand now there’s just one bad portage around Muskrat Falls, but you can track the rest of the river, and one man can do it alone, and there’s a lot of good paddling.  Here there ain’t no paddling or much tracking either.  It’s mostly a swimming trip.  It keeps all of us in the water all the time, and it’s just taking the life out of us.  The Grand now is a decent river, as Henry says.  Why over there one man could do the tracking and steering to, with a line to the bow and another to the stern, and get along fine.  I never saw a river like this one, though, unless it’s the Susan.  Nobody has ever been here before but Indians, and they wouldn’t come except on snowshoes.  They wouldn’t come on a river like this with a canoe.  They know better.”

"When first under fire an’ you’re wishful to duck,

Don’t look nor take ‘eed of the man that is struck;

Be thankful you’re livin’, and trust to your luck,

And march to your front like a soldier,”

quoted the Judge.  “There’s an end to the rapids somewhere, so cheer up boys.  Don’t get discouraged at a little thing like this.  It’s the first set-back.”

“That’s so, there’s an end to the rapids, and let us hope not far away,” I encouraged.  “Where Hubbard and I portaged into this river somewhere up above here it was a very good canoeing river, and it was good all the way from where we entered it to the lakes at the source.  Down here it isn’t any worse than the Susan, and see how we bucked that in 1903, and got through, too.  We’ve got to get through here and set the bronze tablet in position.”

“Yes, we’ve got to do that,” seconded the judge.  We can’t be quitters.”

“No, we can’t be quitters, and we mustn’t talk about turning back”, I urged.

“I want to get that bronze tablet up too,” Gilbert agreed.  “I’ll stick to the river as long as there’s a chance of getting on at all. The lower part of the Susan, as far as I saw it, was just as bad as this.”

“I’ll go on too,” volunteered Murdock, who had regained much of his characteristic good spirits and cheerfulness.  “If the canoe can be fixed, I can stand it as long as she can.”

“What do you say, Henry?  I asked.

“I’ll stay with the boys,” agreed Henry.

“Thank you boys,” said I.

 

Next: Chapter XXI: Worst Country For Game I Ever Saw